The Vermont Council on Planning (VCP) envisions a future in which coordinated municipal, regional, and state plans are implemented in line with statewide goals to guide development, conservation, and resource protection in the interests of all Vermonters.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) founded, produced, and facilitated the Vermont Council on Planning to evaluate the structure of the planning system in Vermont and to consider ways to strengthen planning efforts and their outcomes to Vermont communities. Instituted in September of 2004, the Vermont Council on Planning had a one-year mission: to consider the challenges before municipal, regional and state agency planning and build recommendations to improve the system.

Like all of VCRD’s councils, the membership of the Vermont Council on Planning was selected to be a leadership group, comprised of members of state agencies, Vermont Legislators, business, housing and environmental directors, legal experts, federal representatives, and regional and local planners and officials. The decision to form a policy council around the issue of planning arose from a series of VCRD Rural Summits exploring issues such as affordable housing development, agricultural viability, transportation, land use and economic development that were linked by a common thread of concern around planning. A 2004 Summit devoted exclusively to the “Structure of the Planning System in Vermont” was used to launch the VCP. Participants at the VCRD summit saw a need to revisit the accomplishments of Act 200, which they believed suffered from a lack of funding and a failure to accomplish some of its goals, particularly in the coordination of planning across levels needed to empower plans at each level.

The final report (see link below) covers the history in planning in Vermont and outlines 17 recommendations toward four major goals for advancing the system of planning, improving capacity, and extending the communications and collaboration that will make plans effective in guiding Vermont forward.

Reports and Inputs

Vermont Council on Planning Members

  • Bob Ackland, President, Real Estate Development Division, Sugarbush
  • Stanley Borofsky, Owner, Sam’s Outdoor Outfitter in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls
  • Andy Broderick, Executive Director, Housing Vermont
  • Greg Brown, Executive Director, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • Elizabeth Courtney, Executive Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council
  • Kevin Dorn, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • Paul Gillies, Attorney, Tarrant, Marks & Gillies
  • John Hall, Commissioner, Vermont Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Beth Humstone, former Executive Director, Vermont Forum on Sprawl, current U.S. Programs Director, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Steven Jeffrey, Executive Director, Vermont League of Cities and Towns
  • Representative Bill Johnson, House Natural Resources Committee
  • Steven Kerr, Secretary, Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
  • Lee Krohn, Municipal Planner, City of Manchester
  • Jolinda LaClair, State Director, USDA Rural Development (VCP Chair)
  • Senator Ginny Lyons, Chair, Senate Natural Resources Committee
  • Sharon Murray, Principal, Burnt Rock; Past President and Legislative Liaison, Vermont Planners Association
  • Pat Moulton Powden, Chair, Vermont Natural Resources Board
  • Chuck Ross, State Director, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s Office
  • Brian Searles, former St. Albans City Manager, current Director of Aviation, Burlington International Airport
  • Dawn Terrill, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Transportation
  • Kirk Waite, Selectboard Member, Town of Georgia
  • Peg Elmer, Associate VCP member, Planning Director, Vermont Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Paul Costello, Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development (Producer of VCP)
  • Brenda Hausauer, Project Manager, Vermont Council on Planning